WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, today applauded the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to reverse its original proposal to build a large, new port of entry in Forest City, opting for a smaller facility instead.
The decision ends weeks of growing debate as state and local officials and residents joined the Senator and her office in lodging misgivings and concerns about the plan.
DHS said today that it would limit the size of the port of entry to land already owned by the government, backing away from the previous plan to acquire land owned by local residents.
“This is a welcome change in the Department of Homeland Security’s plan for upgrading the Forest City port of entry,” said Senator Collins. “It addresses the concerns of local residents and will help ensure that taxpayer funds are not wasted on an unnecessarily large facility for a location that is well-known as a low-volume point of entry.”
In March, Senator Collins sent a letter of concern to DHS, asking that the Department reconsider its proposal for the new port of entry in Forest City and urging officials to meet with local residents about their concerns. Later that month, DHS officials met with local residents and listened to their concerns about the size of the project. Additionally, Senator Collins personally spoke to Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, about her concerns regarding the proposed project.